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Latin American reefer trade to China grows 6.9% in first nine months

Photo: APL APL-Reefer_Cargo3.jpg
APL reefer containers
Brazilian exports in reefer containers grew 6.9% between January and September 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, where the main destination was the Chinese market, according to a report by Brazilian consulting firm Datamar.

During this period, Argentina registered a growth of 4.9%, while Uruguay had a decrease of 0.5%. Meanwhile, consolidated growth in the region, including Paraguay, increased by 6%.

 "China, was the main destination of exports through refrigerated containers from Brazil and from the Rio de la Plata, with 164,189 teu exported during the period, followed by the Netherlands, with 46,560 teu," the report said.

"The growth of exports through refrigerated containers and the fall in imports due to the weakening of the economy caused by the coronavirus and the high price of the dollar caused an imbalance in the availability of containers in general," warned Datamar.

The consulting firm cited the example of the largest container ship that docked completely in Brazilian ports: the APL Paris, which called at Itajaí loaded with refrigerated containers to supply the market. The ship is 347.4m-long and 45.2m-wide, and has a capacity of up to 10,798 teu.

The lack of equipment caused a drop in Brazilian meat exports to Arab countries by 30% during the first nine months of the year. "Orders collapsed due to global logistics disrupted by the pandemic and China's enormous buying power," Datamar said.

As Brazil imports fewer products from the Arab market, ships are returning empty, adding to the costs already inflated by the chaotic logistics imposed by the pandemic. While no refrigerated ships were available to transport meat, containers were left in the port of Shanghai for this type of cargo.